Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why it is so important to sell your client prints and products not a digital cd.

In this blog I will discuss the importance of printing your work.   Many photographers are faced with the daunting questions of should they sell prints and products or just a digital image on a CD.

When clients can physically see their photos in print it makes a huge impact.   How do you feel when handed a CD or a nice print of your family.  Even by just doing that the emotion that comes along with having a printed photo in your hand is so much greater than the CD. I like using a nice professional lab that has a wide variety of products and prints to choose from.  Local print locations such as grocery and drug stores in WV offer printing services at discounted pricing.  Not only is the pricing less, but with that comes less quality.

When you sell clients a CD you are really not fully servicing your clients.   That digital image can be then printed from any print lab.  Most labs are not calibrated to your exact computer either.  This can oppose a huge problem.  When photos or items are printed they can look totally different than how you originally photographed them. This could cause a client to be unhappy with your work.  Your work could be beautiful, but by printing at a low quality lab your clients may not know this.  This could cause you to potentially loose a good amount of business. Many cheaper photo printing places also use a super glossy photo paper.  The quality of the photo paper will make a big difference also in the quality and color of you print.

I will present my clients with a few samples of photos and items.  This way they can actually see the items in person and see what their photos look like printed at a quality lab.  Most people are amazed at the color and quality of the work compared to things they have had printed on their own. It is nice to have a comparison of this is what you can print locally , or you can get this from me. What I hear allot from clients is that they hold onto a CD for years and years and never print from it.  Why spend the money for a photos session and cd and never print it to enjoy the memories.

By educating my clients on professional products and prints they can have a better understanding why they should purchase them.  Having nice samples and a good comparison will really help when selling products opposed to digitals.  I like to do my packages with both digital and prints and products. Many people want digitals for online posting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Boost your photographybusiness with a Giveaway.

One great way to promote and boost your business is with a giveaway.  I like to give away a product that can be used at my business. I always say if you give you shall receive. That has been my moto in business and it has helped me to be a success.
I like to do contest and Facebook and Instagram .  Currently I have a summer giveaway going on to where I will be giving away a $50 gift certificate.  To be eligible to win the gift certificate you must like my Facebook page, comment on the post, share , and like the post.  I will then on Friday June 17 2016 pick a winner. 

Holding small contests like these get people excited about your photos and your business. It is a great way to get shares and get your name out without investing a bunch of money.  I always think it is fun to do a giveaway and get people involved in your business. To register to win go to   and look for the post on the contest.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

First Birthday Shoot.

We did a quick shoot in the studio in Parkersburg, WV for some last minute first birthday photos. Hadley was looking as cute as she can be.  Her mom decided on a super cute mini mouse theme.  I had just purchased this awesome vinyl backdrop off the internet. It was the perfect match for our mini themed session.  I had a large Styrofoam one we also used.

When children are one year of age it can be super difficult to get a shot.  They are on the move so much it is hard.  I had a little red rocking chair that matched perfect for her birthday photos.  We were able to keep her seated for long enough to get a few photos.   We decided that using the studio in parkersburg, wv would be better for photos than an outdoor location.  At that age it is very hard to keep children still for long enough to do one photo.  To set up your child's first birthday photo session in WV  Contact 740-683-6339

Friday, June 3, 2016

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Backdrops.

There are allot of different materials that you can use in your photography business.  There is vinyl, cloth, fleece, paper, poly paper, canvas, and a bunch more. Starring out with my business I often purchased vinyl backdrops.  

There are allot of pros with using Vinyl backdrops.  The number one thing with a vinyl backdrop is that it is very affordable.  I live in Parkersburg, WV this is a small town.  We do not have any stores close to here that you can purchase backdrops form.   I have to order all of mine off the internet.  I have used allot of companies to purchase my backdrops from. I like allot of the companies featured on Etsy.  Another great benefit of the vinyl is it is very easy to move around.  Most of them are pretty light weight and can be hung easily.  Vinyl typically has very bright and nice colors also.  The colors look great on the vinyl.

There are for me more cons to Vinyl than pros.  It was a good option when I started because it was about all I could afford.  Ordering all of my backdrops off the internet can get very expensive for shipping.  When vinyl is shipped it is heavier than a cloth or poly paper backdrop so you do generally pay more money in shipping.  Vinyl does have a tendency to have a bad blare.  Allot of lighter colors in vinyl is ok but darker colors do tend to glare terribly with my studio lights. The lighter colors and backdrops with white are typically ok to use.  Stay away from all dark colors in vinyl especially black.  If you turn your lighting up at all you will have allot of glare.  Vinyl is not always wrinkle free. Sometimes the vinyl will crease very easily.  It is not easy to get the wrinkles out of vinyl.  Light wrinkles will come out easily with a little bit of heat applied but deeper wrinkles can be very aggravating and take allot of time and effort to get out.  Most vinyl needs to be stored rolled also. For larger sized drops this can also become and issue.  If you have a 10 ft long drop you need a large space to store that rolled.

Overall, if you need a cheap alternative for a backdrop vinyl is ok. I have found it is worth it to spend more money and get a nicer material like fleece or wrinkle free cloth especially on the larger drops.  This will save you storage space and set up time.

What to wear to your family photo session.

I recently photographed the Davis family and she had the best idea for a red, white, and blue themed session.  I love how all of the outfits in this session were similar.  They were not alike but all outfits coordinated very well together. The backdrop was a simple dark blue canvas style backdrop.  Adding a pattern also can work very well in photos.  If there are 4 people in the photo it is a good idea not to dress everyone in a pattern. Be selective and only put one person in a pattern. 

When picking colors it is never a good idea to try and put everyone in the same color. I like a variety of colors in the photos.  Different colors that go well together work great in a photo.  Sometimes when you try and put 4 different light blues together they may photograph differently.  So it is better to avoid that all together and just go with coordinating colors.  

As a family  photographer in Parkersburg, WV I always try to give my clients outfits advice ahead of time.  I try to speak with them before a session and make sure their clothing matches with my backdrops.  I also will have them text me a photo of their clothing.   This way I can try and advise them on the best options to bring and wear for their photos.  It is always a good idea to help clients with what to wear.  For little children it is also a good idea to not wear a dress. Little children can move around allot and a dress can be very hard to work with in photos for young children.  If they do want their child in a dress for photos, I would advise them to wear some type of bloomer or short underneath.  This will make photographing little children much easier.  Here is a sample of the studio photos we did with the Davis Family.

How to photograph a great Red, White, and Blue Mini photo session.

To start offering mini sessions, it is important start with a wonderful set. I have attached a link for my video on my setup for the Red, white, and Blue mini sessions.  I am offering these June 11th and 18th.  I started with a simple blue backdrop. I chose a backdrop also that was a medium to dark tone of blue.  I purchased a set of paper fans from a local discount store and added those to the backdrop.  I hung the fans from the backdrop stand  with clear fishing wire. It can still be seen when photographing.  The fishing line can easily be cloned out in Photoshop.  

I paired the backdrop with a dark wood roll out floor. I like the darker color with the red white and blue.  I also spray painted a chair red that I picked up at a local resale store for 8.00 .  I had a few other props around that matched a red rocking chair for kids, and a white children chair.  I shopped at a local dollar store and picked up a bag full of props.  I purchased some fun items that the kids could play with and do fun photos with if they did a good job with their pictures. 

These mini session are great for the 4th of July. They really show the patriotic side.  Most local dollar stores will have sessional items around the time of holidays.  You can pick up props that are themed very cheap.  With working with kids they tend to destroy items quickly so I do not like to spend allot of money of them. Check out the video below for a sample of my set up and props.  Here are some sample photos of the finished products .

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tips on a successful family shoot.

Tips and tricks to achieve the best family photo session. It's isn't always easy to get the best family photos. The larger the family the more difficult to get everyone kids included to cooperate. 

Small families typically are the easiest to photograph with older children. They can be positioned and listen well to achieve a flawless photo. I find with younger kids it's much easier to just allow them to do what they do put them in the area you want them and then allow them to be kids talk to everyone in the family and move around a little the photos will be more effortless and pretty. 

I love for children to being props will help such as a small toy that would blend with the photo. I also like to hold a variety of stuffed animals . I being a few different ones because sometimes kids do not always respond to the one you pick.   I try to pick a character that allot of kids know. Olaf from frozen is popular so he has been the best animal right now.  Having toys that squeak or rattle are good to have for children under 5. I like to bring small stools or chairs also for the kids to sit on.